Today, Anne Longfield the Children’s Commissioner has today launched a set of new ‘jargon-busting’ documents to help young people understand social media terms and conditions as a follow-up to the ‘Growing up digital‘ study. The report highlighted the issues around young people and the T+Cs. They went on to give an example of a much simpler version which in my experience of using with young people really opened up their eyes to what they were signing up to. In the launch of the new material, Anne said ‘Children have the right to know what they are signing up to, in clear, simple, easy to understand language so that they can make the most of the fantastic opportunities social media and the internet can bring.’
The simplified terms and conditions aren’t legal documents but some social media companies believe their content is sufficiently clear and simple. These short guides are designed to be an accessible, child-friendly tool to help children consider their digital rights and will help enable them to make informed choices. This reflects to new demands that the new GDPR is placing on internet-based information services companies such as social media providers under to provide their terms in an age-appropriate format that young people can understand. Currently the new legislation has an age limit of 16 for these services but I am sure there is more to come on this as I am sure you can imagine, considering the current legal age for consent is 13 for such services.
The Children’s Commissioner worked with TES and Schillings, to produce three teaching packs to help young people become more empowered digital citizens. Relevant to citizenship and computing curriculums and suitable for KS2, 3 and 4, each pack contains a set of short, six-lesson unit of work and jargon-free terms and conditions for five of the major social networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and WhatsApp).
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 7-11 year olds
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 11-14 year olds
- Digital citizenship: Young peoples’ rights on social media – Teaching pack for 14-16 year olds
CBBC has also produced a series called ‘Lifebabble’ which is aimed at young people and may be suitable for use with pupils in KS2, 3 and 4 with a unit specifically on Digital Rights.
Another useful site to help young people understand the issues around the setting up of social media accounts is Justdelete.me. This is a directory of direct links to show how to delete an account from web services highlighting how easy, difficult or in some cases impossible it is to do.